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Vampires Bite, But in a Good Way

November 25th, 2008

Wow. The winning streak at the box office continues as Twilight had the fifth best November weekend and the 32nd best opening weekend of all time. Overall, the box office pulled in $165 million, which is 10% more than last weekend and 2% more than the same weekend last year. It is important to note that there was growth year-to-year despite this weekend last year being the Thanksgiving long weekend. Year-to-date, 2008 remains ahead of 2007, but by a barely perceptible margin of $8.34 billion to $8.32 billion.

Well, at least I was half right. On Thursday I predicted at Twilight would finish on the low end of expectations and have a tiny internal multiplier. However, it managed $69.64 million over the weekend, which was on the high end of expectations, and the best opening box office figure since The Dark Knight. However, its internal multiplier was a mere 1.94, which is terrible. Add in reviews that are mixed, and it is likely that the film will see a sharp drop-off from now on. That said, it's Thanksgiving this weekend, and that should help it avoid a sub-2.0 multiplier, maybe.

Quantum of Solace fell a little faster than expected, down just over 60% to $26.71 million over the weekend for a total of $108.79 million after two. It is now the fifth-highest grossing James Bond movie domestically and should leap into third place by this time next week. However, depending on how well it holds up over the Thanksgiving long weekend, that might be as far as it goes. Given its price-tag, a $150 million domestic total would not be enough for most films to show a profit, but Quantum of Solace is not most films and like the rest of the franchise, it will earn a lot more money internationally than domestically, and it still should become the biggest hit in the franchise on the international scene.

Strangely, as Disney's non-Pixar digitally animated movies have improved in quality, their box office performance has weakened. I know, technically Bolt earned more than Meet the Robinsons during its opening weekend, $26.22 million to $25.12 million, but Bolt had the far better release date and should have earned more because of that alone. That said, it did earn excellent reviews and with the holiday weekend coming up, it could earn $100 million before all is said and done. If it does reach that milestone, the studio should be pleased, but it is unlikely that they will be challenging Pixar at the box office any time soon.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was also hit hard at the box office, down 55% to $15.66 million. Neither direct competition nor sequelitis adequately explains this, especially since its reviews were better than the orignal's were. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa still has the lead over Madagascar at the box office, and should keep that lead past Thanksgiving, but after that it could slip behind its predecessor's pace.

Role Models continues to out-perform, adding $7.32 million over the weekend for a total of $48.13 million after three. Profitability is all but assured at this point.

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Filed under: Twilight, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Quantum of Solace, Bolt, Role Models